Field-trapping evaluations of the new male attractant, formic acid 4-(3-oxobutyl) phenyl ester (raspberry ketone formate [RKF]) were conducted in Hawaii with wild populations of melon flies, Bactrocera cucurbitae Coquillett (Diptera: Tephritidae), to determine its activity in the field and to evaluate new plastic matrix formulations. All tests were compared with the standard melon fly attractant 4-(4-acetoxyphenyl)-2-butanone (cuelure [CL]), which is the attractant of choice for detection programs aimed at melon fly and other cuelure-responding Bactrocera fruit flies. Results of these tests over a range of doses on cotton wicks showed that at a 1-g dose raspberry ketone formate was 1.5–2 times more attractive compared with cuelure for up to 11 wk in the field. Lower doses applied on cotton wicks were less active, presumably due to hydrolysis of RKF to raspberry ketone. Raspberry ketone formate embedded in a plastic plug formulation also was field tested, and it was shown to be more attractive to male melon fly compared with cuelure. The use of this new attractant in control and detection programs is discussed.
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Vol. 100 • No. 4